There were 25 national polls carried out by nine firms in Germany in June, the highest monthly total of the year so far as September’s Bundestag elections draw ever nearer. While it may have seemed at the end of May that things couldn’t get any better for Chancellor Angela Merkel, June turned out to be another storming month in the polls for her centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU).
May’s average CDU/CSU lead of 10 points expanded still further to 14 across the month of June. That was due a combination of modest CDU advance – up 1.6 points to an average voting intention score of 38.4 per cent – and continued decline for the Social Democrats (SPD) who lost 2.4 points to average just 24.5 per cent. (The samples are not completely comparable, due to a slightly different pattern of publication from the pollsters, but the trends are clear enough). The brief period in March when the two major parties were neck-and-neck now seems like another age. Not only has the shine gone off new SPD leader and Chancellor candidate Martin Schulz, but criticism of him is growing in his own ranks.
Very significantly the CDU three times hit the magic 40 per cent mark in June polls, the first time since 2015 and close to the actual 2013 election result of 41.5 per cent.
Equally notable was the continuing revival of the centrist Free Democrats (FDP), who averaged 8.3 per cent in June, up from 7.7 in May. In one poll, that from Allensbach on 20 June, the CDU-FDP combination topped out over 50 per cent, and in several others the two parties were shown within touching distance of an absolute majority. This raises the serious prospect of an end to the current grand CDU-SDP coalition, and a return to ‘Schwarz-Gelb’, one of the classic alliances of the Federal Republic.
Both the Greens and Die Linke (The Left) appeared to have stabilised their scores during the month, while continuing to poll well below the level of the start of 2017. For the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) there is no such respite in sight. Their 7.9 per cent average is down another half point on May, and the 12.8 per cent average of January is but a distant memory. Given the past tendency of pollsters to overrate the AfD ahead of elections, it is not surprising that speculation has begun as to whether they will gain their first parliamentary seats after all.
JUNE POLLING AVERAGES
Voting intentions, Bundestag, per cent
(change on May in brackets):
Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) 38.4 (+1.6) range 36 to 40
Social Democrats (SPD) 24.5 (-2.4) range 23 to 28
Left (Die Linke) 9.0 (+0.4) range 8 to 11
Free Democrats (FDP) 8.3 (+0.6) range 7 to 10.5
Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) 7.9 (-0.5) range 6.5 to 9
Greens (Die Gruenen) 7.5 (+0.4) range 6.5 to 9
Others 4.3 (-0.2) range 3 to 6
Pollsters and media partners for June: Allensbach Institut (FAZ) 1 poll, Emnid (Bild am Sonntag) 4 polls, Forsa (Stern, RTL) 5 polls, Forschungsgruppe Wahlen (ZDF) 2 polls, GMS 1 poll, Infratest dimap (ARD) 2 polls, Insa/YouGov (Bild) 4 polls, Ipsos 3 polls, YouGov 3 polls.
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